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Investor Visas

If you have a background in business management or high level investment activities and are interested in starting up a new business in Australia or purchasing an ownership interest in an existing Australian business, you and your family may be eligible for permanent residence status under Australia's business migration program.

For business visa applicants it is crucial having a detailed migration strategy that works.  A well-planned business immigration pathway can not only simplify your immigration application, but it also ensures that you will achieve your goals in moving to Australia in the shortest time possible.

Business visas are generally two stage visas where the first stage is obtaining a provisional visa. Once you have met all the requirements of your provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa in the stream in which you first applied, you and your family may be eligible for a permanent residence visa.

Temporary Visa categories:

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa – Business Innovation Stream

This is a 4-year provisional visa available for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia.

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa – Investor Stream

This is a 4-year provisional visa for people who want to make a designated investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa - Significant Investor Stream

This is a 4-year provisional visa for people investing at least AUD5 million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

Permanent Visa categories:

Business Talent (Migrant) Subclass 132 Visa

Business Talent (Migrant) visas are granted to people with an overall successful business career. There is no need to apply for a provisional visa before applying for this permanent visa.

Business Innovation and Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 Visa

This is the permanent stage of the Subclass 188 Provisional Business Innovation and Investment visas. It requires applicants to have met all the requirements of their provisional visas.

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa – common requirements

You can apply for this visa if:

  • you have been nominated by a state of territory government
  • you have submitted an Expression of Interest and received an invitation to apply for this visa
  • you meet the health and character requirements.

Other requirements depend on the stream you listed in your Expression of Interest.

If you are in the Business Innovation stream, you must:

  • be younger than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the relevant region
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test
  • have a total annual turnover of at least AUD500 000 (in one or more of your main businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • own at least one of the following percentages of that main business (or two main busineses):

51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum

30 per cent of a business with a turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum

10 per cent of a publicly-listed company

  • have managed a business, in which you spent less than half your time on professional (such as a doctor or lawyer), technical or trade services
  • have a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also:

  • have total assets of at least AUD800 000 that have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • have an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities.

If you apply for the Investor stream, you must:

  • be younger than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business or investment activity will be of exceptional economic benefit to the relevant region.
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test
  • have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments or qualifying business activity
  • have at least three years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also:

-     have a total assets of at least AUD2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply. These assets must have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted

-    have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities

-  be prepared to make your government-approved designated investment of AUD1.5 million using funds you have accumulated from your direct involvement, for at least one of the five fiscal years before you are invited to apply, in one of the following activities:

-    managing your eligible investments that total at least AUD1.5 million

-   managing a qualifying business in which you owned at least 10 per cent of the total value of  the business.

If you apply for the Significant Investor stream, you must be prepared to invest at least AUD5 million in at least one of the following 'complying investments':

Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds

Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds that are open to the general public and have a mandate for investing in one of the following Australian assets:

infrastructure projects in Australia;

cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions;

bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government;

bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in Australian companies and trusts listed on any Australian Stock Exchange;

bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions;

real estate in Australia;

Australian Agribusiness; and

other ASIC regulated managed funds that invest in the above list of investments.

direct investment into private Australian companies not listed on any Australian stock exchange. You must obtain an ownership interest in the company. The company must genuinely operate a qualifying business in Australia, be registered with ASIC and have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

You must also:

  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the complying investment has been held continuously for the life of your provisional visa
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to reside in the state or territory that provided nomination for your application.

In addition, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:

  • have assets of at least AUD5 million that have been legally acquired, are unencumbered, and are available to be used to make the 'complying investment' in Australia
  • not have a history of involvement in unacceptable business or investment activities
  • agree not to take legal action against the Commonwealth for any loss of capital arising from your complying investment.

Business Talent (Migrant) Subclass 132 Visa – common requirements

You can apply for this visa if:

-           you have been nominated by a state of territory government

-           you have submitted an Expression of Interest and received an invitation to apply for this visa

-           you meet the health and character requirements.

Your Expression of Interest must specify whether you are interested in the Significant Business History stream or the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream.

If you apply for the Significant Business History stream, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must have all of the following:

  • you must be less than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the relevant region
  • net assets of at least AUD400 000 (in a qualifying business) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • total assets of at least AUD1.5 million that can be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • a total annual turnover of at least AUD3 million (in one or more of your main businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • ownership of at least:

51 per cent of a business with turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum, or

30 per cent of a business with turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum, or

10 per cent of a publicly-listed company

  • an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities
  • a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

If you apply for the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream, you must have obtained at least AUD1 million in funding from an Australian Venture capital firm for the start-up, product commercialisation or business development relating to a promising high value business idea.

Business Innovation and Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 Visa – common requirements

The Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Residence) visa is the permanent stage for the subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa.

You can apply for this visa if:

  • are the primary holder of a provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188)
  • have met all the requirements of your provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa in the stream in which you first applied
  • have not been involved in any unacceptable business or investment activities
  • have a satisfactory record of complying with Australia laws
  • have been nominated by an Australian state or territory
  • you and all your family members meet health and character requirements - you do not need to prove this again if you have already met this requirement for the provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188)
  • have a genuine commitment to continue to maintain business or investment activities in Australia

Other requirements depend on the stream in which you held your provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188).

There are two streams depending on which stream was applied for at the provisional visa stage the Business Innovation Stream and Investor Stream.

Business Innovation Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You will need to meet the following if you are applying through the Business Innovation Stream:

  • Residence requirement: you must have been in Australia for at least 1 of the 2 years prior to application
  • have had and continue to have a direct and continuous management role in a main business (or two main businesses) in Australia for at least two years immediately before you apply
  • have had a turnover, in that main business (or two main businesses), of at least AUD300 000 in the year immediately before you apply
  • own at least one of the following percentages of that main business (or two main businesses):

51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum

30 per cent of a business with a turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum

10 per cent of a publicly-listed company

  • have obtained Australian Business Numbers for each of the relevant businesses
  • have submitted all relevant Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office
  • have not acquired the ownership in your main business (or two main businesses) from a person who was an applicant for, or a holder of, a permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888) or a permanent business skills visa (in subclasses 890,891,892 or 893), unless you and that person had a joint interest in the main business for at least one year before you lodge your application for this visa.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also meet two of the following criteria:

  • the net value of your assets in the main business (or two main businesses) in Australia is at least AUD200 000 throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • the net value of your personal and business assets in Australia has been at least AUD600 000 throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • the main business (or two main businesses) must have employed, throughout the year immediately before you apply, at least the equivalent of two full-time employees who are: Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or New Zealand passport holders, not your family members.

Investor Stream Requirements

If you are applying for this visa in the Investor stream, you must have been in Australia and held your provisional visa for at least two of the four years immediately before you apply.

In addition, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must have:

  • held a designated investment with an Australian state or territory for at least four years
  • a satisfactory record of complying with Australian laws, including those relating to taxation, superannuation, workplace relations and other laws relevant to your business
  • not been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities
  • a strong commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia.

 

Significant Investor Stream Requirements

If you are applying for this visa in the Significant Investor stream, you must have been in Australia for a certain amount of time, as follows:

Significant Investor stream - 160 days in the past four years

Significant Investor Extension stream - 240 days in the past six years

Two provisional visas in the Significant Investor Extension stream - 320 days in the past eight years.

You can satisfy this residence requirement at any time while holding a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188).

In addition, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must have:

  • held complying investments as defined in your Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188). You must have held those investments continuously in any proportion across the investment options for the life of your provisional visa
  • a satisfactory record of complying with Australian laws, including those relating to taxation, superannuation, workplace relations and other laws relevant to your business
  • not been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities
  • a strong commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia.

 

The business immigration process is an extremely complex area of the Australian immigration law. To determine whether you qualify for one of the business visas you need to be assessed against different sets of criteria. The best way for you to ensure the success of your application is to appoint Visamagnet as your migration agent for the planning, preparation, lodgement and processing of your application.

Put the strength of one of the most successful, respected, innovative and fastest growing immigration firm behind you and contact us for confidential advice today.

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